Le Cellier is a table-service restaurant in Epcot’s World Showcase. Located in the Canada Pavilion, the restaurant is termed a signature restaurant by Walt Disney World’s standards. That means it would cost two dining credits in the Disney Dining Plan (when applicable) and the restaurant does accept an Annual Pass and DVC discount. Specializing in steaks, Le Cellier is one of the more popular restaurants in WDW. In this post, we’ll review the restaurant’s atmosphere, food and value.
When the Disney blogosphere was in its infant stages, Le Cellier rose to prominence thanks to a few strong values and a few marquee menu options. Over the years, opinions on the restaurant have split due to rising prices and other steakhouses popping up around property. With Wandering in Disney bursting onto the scene (HA!) you would have thought that we’d have tried Le Cellier by now. Somehow it always evaded us as we went to 40 some restaurants before that. Our sincerest apologies! I’m glad we remedied that now.
There were a few reasons why Le Cellier never topped our list of places to go. I love steak but the menu was somewhat limited otherwise and I do enjoy branching out a bit while dining out. In that same vein, steakhouses are very expensive and there was seemingly always a signature restaurant I’d rather try. Whether these same principles apply to you likely comes down to how much you love steak, how adventurous of an eater you are and what kind of atmosphere you enjoy.
We’ll start with the latter while talking about the restaurant. On the chance that you didn’t want to assume Le Cellier doesn’t translate from French to the cellar well, rest assured that it mostly does. Storeroom or pantry are also applicable definitions. Once inside of the restaurant, it’s clear that they are going for that cellar look. It’s not dusty in there but it’s got that dim red lighting that wine cellars or basements have. On the surface, that’s pretty unappealing. But this cellar is under a castle and the elegant and masculine walls are there to remind you of that.
I’m still unsure of how I feel about Le Cellier’s atmosphere. The decor is minimal, although the pillars and chandeliers are quite pretty. It’s all back to one of those ideas that we discuss frequently on this blog – if an average theme or idea is executed well does that make it a success? Even with remnants of a castle (or very expensive hotel), the restaurant is still supposed to be a cellar. The amount of times I’ve wanted to eat in a cellar in my life could be counted on the hands of a fingerless man.
This isn’t to say the restaurant isn’t nice. There are rich tones in the tables, booths and chairs. The masculine look fits in with the steak served. Le Cellier doesn’t have a bad atmosphere at all, I’m just not sure anyone is leaving the restaurant talking about it. There are better restaurants thematically throughout all of World Showcase.
Where Le Cellier does set itself apart from World Showcase is the quality of cuisine and service. You’re certainly paying for that uptick in quality though. Here’s a look at the menu.
Like all WDW signature restaurants, Le Cellier offers a bread service that is quite delicious. I’m a sucker for Pretzel Bread and this was fresh and served warm, a delicious option. There were also Sourdough and Multigrain Rolls, both of which were delicious and on par with the Pretzel Bread. You can’t go wrong with any of these.
For my entrée, I ordered the Le Cellier Filet Mignon. This includes a Canadian Tenderloin, Mushroom Risotto, Asparagus-Tomato Relish, and Truffle-Butter Sauce. One of the most famous dishes among Disney World fans, the Filet didn’t disappoint as it was so tender that it just melted in your mouth. The Mushroom Risotto and Truffle-Butter Sauce were equally good and gave a richness to the dish. The Relish cut that richness and offered a few brighter notes.
With all of the hype surrounding the dish, I wasn’t quite as blown away as I’d like. The steak was cooked beautifully but I didn’t think the seasoning and taste was out of this world. To be sure, it’s extremely good but I think there are better steaks on property and the $59 price tag is incredibly high. I’m not sure if I’d get this again, maybe once every five years or so. But it didn’t turn into the hallmark dish that I thought it might. Maybe my expectations were too high.
What did blow us all away were the Maple Whiskey-glazed Brussel Sprouts. Now, I’m not a fan of Brussel Sprouts. I’ve tried them on many occasions and the highest praise I could ever give them was “those were okay.” These were incredible though. Glazed in the Maple Whiskey and then flash fried, these were sweet and surprisingly tender. Opposed to the steak, these Brussel Sprouts were a steal at $10. I would honestly think about paying twice that for these, it was one of the best items I tried on the whole trip.
There are ways to have a cheaper meal at Le Cellier and many of them revolve around Poutine (sorry for the lousy photo). We tried the Signature Poutine which includes Fresh-cut French Fries, Canadian Cheddar, Truffle, Red Wine Reduction. The fries didn’t get very soggy, which is usually my biggest complaint with Poutine. All of the ingredients were fresh, especially the Cheddar which added a little kick to the dish. At only $14, you could pair this with the famous Cheddar Cheese Soup or the Brussel Sprouts and have a really good meal for under $25. Of course, you’d be missing out on the steak but it is an option if you’re looking for deals at a signature restaurant. I liked the Poutine quite a bit but wasn’t wowed.
We tried a few options for dessert, starting with the Maple Crème Brûlée. With a shortbread cookie and Maple Whipped Cream on top, the dish certainly feels Canadian. Thankfully, it’s also delicious and a top tier dessert. The actual Crème Brûlée is decadent and perfectly prepared. At $13, this is the dessert I’d recommend.
We also tried the Maple Leaf Cheesecake and the Warm Pecan-Brown Butter Tart. I found the latter to be very tasty albeit a little too sweet if you’re eating it alone. I didn’t think the Maple Leaf Cheesecake was anything special but the homemade whipped cream, strawberries and shortbread it came with was all very good. All of the desserts were in the usual $10-$15 range that signature restaurants have.
While I really enjoyed the all of the food we tried at Le Cellier, I’m not sure it quite lived up to the hype that many give it. Everything is made really well and the service itself was quite good. But the food isn’t as memorable as many other places I’ve tried at WDW and the same goes for the atmosphere. Once you factor in the high prices, both paying out of pocket or in terms of credit on the Disney Dining Plan, Le Cellier doesn’t rank extremely high for us. It’s on the cusp of a top ten restaurant at Disney World but doesn’t quite make it there. If you’re going to spend that much money then you can find a better restaurant elsewhere.
Overall Rating – 9/10
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Categories: Restaurant Reviews